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Smart boxes to reduce electricity consumption in France

150,000 of them will go to citizens for free thanks to EU-backed loan

  • January 27, 2020 09:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
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150,000 smart boxes are to be installed in French homes with electric heating, in order to enable consumers to save energy. This comes at no cost for citizens and will be done without impacting their comfort, announced the European Investment Bank (EIB). The installation of the new devices will be possible thanks to a 20-million euros loan, provided by the EU bank to a company owned by Meridiam (60%) and Voltalis (40%).

The signing of a EUR 20 m loan guaranteed by the European Commission was announced on Thursday and is expected to pave the way for smarter electricity management by Voltalis. The latter will be implementing the solution which enables energy demand to be reduced when prices are high or during peak usage times, while enhancing the security of the power grid, reads the announcement.

A partnership promoting climate goals

The financing is part of the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects facility, financed under Horizon 2020 (EU’s framework programme for research and innovation) and by NER 300, the innovative low-carbon energy programme. On top of the expected financial savings for households, the so-called “Active demand management” is believed to advance the European Green Deal and EU climate action by saving energy and limiting the use of polluting means of production.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, quoted by EIB press office said that “By backing Voltalis with EU funding, we aim to show that energetic, dynamic and smart management is a viable solution for reducing energy needs without compromising comfort and the economy, whilst at the same time facilitating the integration of renewables within the energy system. This will enable the firm to reduce its carbon emissions, save money and help us attain our climate goals.”

Voltalis, which refers to itself as the first operator of internet of energy, wants to install the devices in one-third of the French households using electricity for heating.

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